Posts tagged ‘emotion and writing’

On Saying Goodbye

Losing a loved one is never easy. Whether a partner in life, a friend, or family member, it is one of the most painful experiences. Having to say goodbye when one is not ready is devastating, and it may render a person numb out of an unexpected dose of pain. One of the secondary themes in my novel The Five-dollar Miracle is the loss of a spouse, and the feelings and emotions that go with it.

Last year I experienced the loss of loved ones, and just a few weeks after I had finished writing a chapter dealing with this topic, a friend died unexpectedly leaving her partner experiencing the feelings of pain, loss, desolation, and so many other emotions that can only be described by someone who has gone through it.

As writers, we draw from our experiences when we try to convey through our writing, and the rest we imagine or draw from observation; we try to do the best we can when portraying what we have not experienced. Many times, we place ourselves in those situations fictionally, and try to understand or visualize the array of emotions surrounding a particular situation. At other times, inspiration seems to take our hand and guide us in our writing. We try our best, and as writers that is all we can do, but I can say with certainty that our writing will only match the synergy of our experience.

Writer’s Wisdom 70

Balancing emotions

Emotions are everywhere, there is no way to escape them.  From the very happy cashier to the very upset man next to you in traffic, from the time you wake up till the time you go to rest – even in your sleep, while having some very emotionally charged dreams.  So, if emotions are all around you, why wouldn’t they be part of your writing?

When writing a piece, pay special attention to the emotions of the characters.  Emotions should match the situation, and the character type.  It would be weird to have a character that just suffered a heartbreaking loss, be worried about triviality (just to continue the story) – unless it is done on purpose to stress the unusual personality of this character or the particular way to cope with trauma.  Such is the case of the serial killer experiencing ecstasy while murdering someone.  It is all a balancing act.  When you balance emotions in a piece of writing, it helps the natural flow of the story.

The question is, can you use emotion to dictate the story?  Some pieces of flash fiction are a very good example of this.  It starts with an emotion and the emotion develops the story to the end.  Do a little experiment; when writing your next piece, pay special attention to what the characters are feeling and see how it is relating to the flow of the story.